NIPOST plans biometrics and agency banking to push financial inclusion in Nigeria
The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is contributing to the country’s financial inclusion efforts in the form of a biometric registration campaign, as it expects to see an announced agency banking platform fully operational soon.
The system in question was unveiled in January, but is expected to officially launch this month, according to a Tech Point Africa report that looks at how the platform could help establish personal accounts for the huge chunk of Nigerians who are still unbanked.
The outlet says NIPOST has yet to give many details on how the system will work, but it quotes Digital Economy Minister Isa Pantami who said the platform will come with a biometric debit card. which can be used both online and offline to authenticate the identity of users. through their fingerprints.
NIPOST is expected to partner with fintechs to achieve its goal, but it did not reveal who will provide the biometric debit cards.
Pantami also reportedly said that the NIPOST platform would operate within the Universal Postal Union standards on financial inclusion, which means it would offer services such as money transfers, savings, credit and digital payments, among others.
While it is not yet clear how the new agency platform will work, Tech Point Africa however suggests that the platform could operate similarly to South African fintech startup Paycode whose clients use its biometric debit cards to authenticate transactions securely and transparently. way. Paycode may even be the project’s technology provider, with CEO Ralph Pecker referring to the potential for growth in Nigerian contracts when the company announced it had received an investment last November.
Paycode has received funding to expand its financial inclusion services and is already operating in Southern and West African countries such as Mozambique, Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana. As Tech Point Africa writes, Paycode works with Namibia’s national postal service.
A financial inclusion partnership between Paycode and Mastercard to reach people in remote parts of Africa was announced last September.
The NIPOST biometric debit card can be used offline, making it similar to the one offered by Paycode which allows anyone with access to the company’s API to use the card without any internet access. This feature is especially useful for particularly hard-to-reach and rural areas with weak or no internet connection.
The Tech Point Africa article also takes a look at other countries around the world where postal services are playing an important role in promoting financial inclusion through partnerships with fintechs. The countries that follow this model are Brazil, India, Benin, Ghana and Namibia.
Africa | authentication | banking | biometric cards | biometrics | digital identity | financial services | identity management | Nigeria